Vettai (transl. The Hunt) is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language action film co produced, written and directed by N. Linguswamy.[3] The film stars Arya, Madhavan, Sameera Reddy, and Amala Paul in the lead roles while Ashutosh Rana, Thambi Ramaiah and Nassar played supporting roles.[4] The film score is composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, while cinematography is by Nirav Shah and editing handled by Anthony.[5]

Promotional poster
Directed byN. Linguswamy
Produced byN. Subash Chandra Bose
Ronnie Screwvala
N. Linguswamy
Written byBrinda Sarathy (Dialogues)
Screenplay byN. Linguswamy
Story byN. Linguswamy
Sameera Reddy
Amala Paul
Music byYuvan Shankar Raja
CinematographyNirav Shah
Edited byAnthony
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Vendhar Movies[1]
Release date
  • 14 January 2012 (2012-01-14)
Running time
168 minutes

The film revolves around two brothers, the elder being sensitive to violence and the younger being a jobless rogue, settled in Thoothukudi. After the death of their father, a police officer, the elder brother takes on the same job by request of the younger. The older brother rises to fame in his job by having his younger brother secretly punish suspects and save victims for him. This angers two of the town's biggest mob bosses, who begin to seek revenge on the elder brother. After getting severely beaten by them, the elder brother loses his fear and becomes physically stronger through training from his younger brother. How the brothers get back at two gangs and protect their families form the rest of the story.

The film was announced shortly after the release of Lingusamy's Paiyaa, with Dhayanidhi Alagiri's Cloud Nine Movies agreeing to produce the film, following a successful collaboration during the director's previous film.[6] During a lengthy pre-production phase, the film underwent major changes in its main cast and Cloud Nine Movies stepped out of the project, with Linguswamy's own banner, Thirupathi Brothers, taking up the film.[7] Filming was initially planned to begin by mid-2010,[8] but was delayed until March 2011.[9] The film was released on 14 January 2012, coinciding with Pongal festival.

It is remade in Telugu as Tadakha in 2013 directed by Kishore Kumar Pardasani and in Hindi as Baaghi 3 in 2020 directed by Ahmed Khan. Tarang Cine Productions remade the movie in Odia in 2018 as Happy Lucky. It was also remade in Bangladeshi as Hitman in 2014.


Thirumurthy and Gurumurthy are two brothers in Thoothukudi, with Thirumurthy being the elder brother. He is very sensitive to violence, in contrast to his younger brother, who is brave, clever and rogue. Whenever Thirumurthy is beaten by anyone, he sends Gurumurthy to finish them. However, Gurumurthy is frequently berated by his policeman father (Nagendra Babu) for beating local people, while Thirumurthy only feels for him.

After the death of their father, the now grown-up Thirumurthy (Madhavan) takes on the same police job by request of Gurumurthy (Arya), who remains an unemployed rogue. Thirumurthy is posted to Sub-inspector of police in thoothukudi Meanwhile, Thirumurthy falls in love with Vasanthi (Sameera Reddy) and Gurumurthy falls for her younger sister Jayanthi (Amala Paul). Subsequently, Thirumurthy marries Vasanthi, and both the brothers shift to Vasanthi and Jayanthi's house. A number of humorous incidents follow, such as Jayanthi's to-be husband is actually revealed to be a clumsy NRI named Gautham (Rajeev Ravindranathan), whom she disapproves of. She openly expresses her love for Gurumurthy, and hence, he subsequently marries her. After this, Gautham takes leave.

Thirumurthy rises to fame in his job by having Gurumurthy secretly punish suspects and save victims for him. Everyone believes that Thirumurthy actually fought the criminals himself, but in reality, he took credit for Gurumurthy's doings, unknown to them. One of the village's biggest mob bosses, Annachi (Ashutosh Rana), discovers the truth via a CCTV showing Gurumurthy's face. Enraged, he has his men severely beat up Thirumurthy, making the latter confident that his brother will continue his job. Gurumurthy proclaims that he made his elder brother a policeman not for fake but to overcome his fears and become stronger. Following his recovery, Thirumurthy begins training up under Gurumurthy and subsequently overcomes his fear and manages to defeat a few of Annachi's men.

Eventually, Annachi and his men break into the brothers' house and cause havoc. Thirumurthy and Gurumurthy arrive and defeat all of Annachi's men; however, they are unable to beat Annachi. When Annachi falls for a trap set by the brothers, he is defeated, but the two brothers quarrel about whether to kill or arrest him. Gurumurthy declares that they will roll a gun and if the gun stops rolling at the brothers, they will arrest Annachi, but if it stops at Annachi, he will be killed. The gun stops rolling at Annachi, and Thirumurthy shoots him dead.

As the credits roll, scenes show that Thirumurthy is again congratulated by the local police but gives equal credit to his brother as well. Through this praise, Gurumurthy also gets to join the police force.




In April 2010, following the success of Paiyaa, Cloud Nine Movies, who had distributed the film, announced a successive collaboration with the film's director N. Linguswamy,[10][11] who would make a romantic action film with Silambarasan in the lead role.[12] For pre-production works, the crew of the team subsequently headed to Macau to work out the script,[13] following which Lingusamy moved to the Orange County resort in Coorg, Karnataka to finalise the script.[14] Later that month a photo shoot was completed, with Silambarsan sporting the get up of an NCC cadet,[15] However, in July 2010, reports suggested that Silambarasan was dropped from the project, since he suddenly, without informing Lingusamy and Dhayanidhi, signed himself up and began working in Vaanam (2011).[16] Silambarasan, in return, revealed that he had not officially signed Cloud Nine Pictures' film, and only decided to work on Vaanam, since Lingusamy was not able to narrate the complete script, despite making him wait for over 100 days.[17] Controversially, Silambarasan later signed another film in September 2010, which was similarly titled as Vettai Mannan.[18][19]

Eventually in September 2010, the film was official announced at a press meet with the title Vettai, with Arya replacing Silambarasan. At the press meet, he revealed that he worked for over three months on the script, keeping his editor Anthony Gonsalvez and cinematographer Nirav Shah updated about the developments.[20] The film's principal photography was initially supposed to commence in June 2010,[21] but due to pre-production works, it got delayed further and was postponed to December.[22] The film was announced as a bilingual project, to be shot separately in Tamil and Telugu. The Telugu version was supposed to be produced by Tirupati Prasad of Mega Supergood Films and feature Mahesh Babu in the lead role,[14] with Madhavan reprising his role.[4] In March 2011, Cloud Nine Movies stepped out of the project, which prompted Linguswamy to produce Vettai, too, under his home banner Thirupathi Brothers along with his brother Subash Chandra Bose.[23][24]


After Silambarasan's exit, Vijay was expected to enact the lead role, who had earlier agreed to star in a Lingusamy film in future,[25] and was subsequently approached by the team.[16] He, however, declined the offer, not willing to play a role that was "originally written keeping in mind the image of another actor".[25] Only in September 2010, during the official announcement, it became apparent that Arya was signed on to reprise the lead role. Furthermore, Linguswamy was trying to sign Madhavan for another leading role, while, several days later, sources reported that Madhavan definitely had rejected the offer.[26] The next month, however, it was confirmed that Madhavan was roped in to enact the role as a police officer and brother of Arya's character.[4] Madhavan accepted the film as he was 'blown' away by the story.[27]

The lead female role was reported to be played by Tamannaah Bhatia, who had been part of Linguswamy's Paiyaa as well. In an interview later, she disclosed that she was not approached earlier and though she liked the script, she could not take the offer due to her prior commitments.[28] Anushka Shetty then accepted the offer,[29] while Sameera Reddy was signed to play Madhavan's pair in the film, as a village girl.[30] In late November 2010, Anushka pulled out and Amala Paul, following her critically acclaimed performance in Mynaa, was roped in to play a leading character, as the love interest of Arya's character.[31]


Originally planned to commence in June 2010, the filming was postponed several times either due to pending pre-production works and unavailability of the artists.[32] After Arya had finished shooting and dubbing for Avan Ivan, the first schedule was planned to begin on 2 March, which however, was also cancelled as Dhayanidhi wanted the filming to be pushed by another two months, which supposedly was the reason for Linguswamy's decision to produce the film himself. Shooting eventually started on 16 March 2011 in Karaikudi, with Madhavan, Arya, Sameera Reddy and Amala Paul participating.[33] A song "Dumma Dumma Dummaa", choreographed by Brindha, was shot first, with nearly 2000 people being part of the shoot along with the four lead actors.[34][35] A fight sequence, involving Arya and Madhavan, was shot in the Pondicherry University sports complex on 24 April.[36] In June 2011, other key action sequences were filmed at Madurai, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur and Aruppukottai.[37] The introduction song of the film was also shot in Thanjavur.[38] Some action sequences were shot in Madanapalle, a town located in the Chittor district, Andhra Pradesh,[39] while the climax was shot at Binny Mills in Chennai under the supervision of stunt director Silva.[40]


Soundtrack album to Vettai by
Released28 December 2011
GenreFeature film soundtrack
ProducerYuvan Shankar Raja
Yuvan Shankar Raja chronology
Mr. Nookayya

Following successful collaborations with director Linguswamy in Sandakozhi (2005) and Paiyaa (2010), Yuvan Shankar Raja was signed up to produce the film score and soundtrack for Vettai as well. In November 2010, the duo along with lyricist Na. Muthukumar left for Malaysia to compose the first tunes. The soundtrack album was launched on 28 December 2011 at the Anna Centenary Auditorium in Kotturpuram, Chennai,[41] with several lead actors and directors from the Tamil film industry attending the event.[42][43] Six days prior to the soundtrack release, on 22 December 2011, the song "Pappappa" was launched as a single track at the studios of Radio Mirchi, with a making-of video of the recording being simultaneously uploaded on YouTube.[44][45] The song, which was sung by Yuvan Shankar Raja himself along with Renu Kannan, a finalist of the second season of the reality-based singing competition Airtel Super Singer, quickly gained attention and became very popular.[46][47]

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Na. Muthukumar.

1."Dham Dham"Karthik, Krish4:35
2."Damma Damma"Haricharan, Shweta Mohan4:51
3."Kattipidi Enna"Vijay Prakash, Shweta Pandit5:09
4."Pappappa"Yuvan Shankar Raja, Renu Kannan4:07
5."Thaiya Thakka"Harini, Saindhavi5:22
Total length:24:13


Behindwoods said "Vettai has some peppy likeable soundtracks to its credits. Even if it’s not Yuvan's best, Vettai packages all genres of folksy music well. With songs like 'Pappa Pappa' and the romantic 'Kattipudi', the album is all set to turn out to be a commercial winner".[48]


Produced on a budget of 25 crore,[49] The satellite rights of the film were bought by STAR Vijay for 75 million (US$1.1 million) and audio/DVD rights were sold for 45 million (US$630,000).[50] The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. It released on the Pongal weekend on 14 January 2012. Vettai was released in 650 screens worldwide on 14 January 2012 including 300 screens in Tamil Nadu, 250 screens in the rest of India, and about a 100 screens overseas.[51] Vettai sold 4.3 million tickets worldwide.[2]


Critical receptionEdit

Vettai received positive reviews. Behindwoods rated the film 3.5/5 and called it a "light hearted film for the holiday season".[52] Sify's critic wrote: "Lingusamy's Vettai is a racy mass entertainer with all the ingredients mixed in the right proposition. No doubt that the director understands the pulse of the common man and has beautifully packaged it with all the essential commercial elements to suit the taste of the masses".[53] Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave 2.5/5 and noted: "Vettai is no classic, but it is good fun."[54] The Times of India wrote: "Though there is nothing new in terms of the story or screenplay, the movie is a fun ride as long as it lasts".[55] Rohit Ramachandran of rated it 3/5 stating that "Vettai is regular Kollywood stuff superiorly packaged with insurmountable energy.".[56] Deccan chronicle wrote:"The first half moves fast with unlimited entertainment, while the post-interval portions falls along predicted lines and pace suffers".[57] Hindu wrote:"The story isn't out of the ordinary, but Lingusamy knows where to place twists and how. From Run to Sandakkozhi and now to Vettai, his action ventures, with the exception of Bheema and Ji, have screenplays that sustain the interest of the viewer".[58]

Rachel Saltz of The New York Times wrote: "Vettai partakes of the something-for-everyone formula, mixing the serious — corruption, evil gangs and limb-threatening fights — with the less so: songs, romance and comedy. It entertains without breaking any new ground, though it can also surprise".[59]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2nd South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Madhavan Won
Best Actor in a Negative Role Ashutosh Rana Nominated


The film's remake rights were sold for 3 crore,[60] to Bellamkonda Suresh. The Telugu version, titled Tadakha, was released in 2013.[61] It was then remade in Dhallywood (Bangladesh) as Hitman (2014),[62] Odia as Happy Lucky (2018), Marathi as Mauli (2018) and Hindi as Baaghi 3 (2020).


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  2. ^ a b "Vettai's confirmed release date". Retrieved 5 January 2012.
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  39. ^ "'Vettai' team shoots crucial scene in AP — Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
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  62. ^ "BREAKING: Sajid Nadiadwala buys rights of R Madhavan, Arya starrer Vettai". Bollywood Hungama. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2020.

External linksEdit